April 29, 2009

Bathroom Breaks Raise Mortality

People who find they need to hit the bathroom a couple of times a night or more may be at increased risk of dying.

That's the key finding from Japanese researchers who studied 788 older people living in assisted living facilities in Japan. When they compared people who got up to urinate two or more times a night with those who got up less often, they found the frequent bathroom visitors were significantly more likely to die.

The finding held true over the three year study even after the investigators adjusted the results to take other factors that could influence mortality into account, such as age, sex, body mass index, diabetes, high blood pressure, and history of heart disease, among others.

"Nighttime urination is not necessarily just a matter of getting older. Patients should talk to their doctor about what may be causing this," Anthony Y. Smith, M.D., an American Urological Association spokesman, was quoted as saying. "There may be a very serious yet treatable condition involved."

SOURCE: Presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association, April 26, 2009